"I witnessed some of the best singers at the Indiana University Jacob’s School of Music lying prostrate at the feet of presenter Ruth Williams Hennessy during her workshop on Hennessy Breath & BodyWork. Floor work was only one of the elements of this thoughtful and professional class. There were many enthusiastic comments afterwards, and I found Ruth’s teaching of an organic or gestalt approach to singing invaluable." -- Patricia Wise, International artist and Kammersänger; Professor of Voice, Indiana University (ret.)
"Ruth Williams Hennessy is, quite simply put, a marvel. Her knowledge of the body's muscular system and how it affects singing is unique. I've witnessed first-hand how an adjustment of posture and release of tension in muscles you didn't know you had can hugely impact the way you sing. I've been a devotee of her for several years and am always amazed at her complete understanding and perception of the human body and her philosophy that it takes all of you to be able to sing. She has an amazing ability to identify sources of tension and address them immediately and in many cases with instantaneous results. If you ever have the opportunity to work with her, grab it with both hands. You'll be so glad you did." Ruth opens up a whole new world. -- Elizabeth Byrne, International and Metropolitan Opera artist; Voice Performance and Opera Faculty, DePaul University
These video clips illustrate the dramatic results you can expect from Ruth's teaching.
RESULTS FOR SINGERS:
"Rejoice Greatly" -- BodyWorkShop© at a Classical Singer convention -- as the singer improves her posture and alignment, a very different sound emerges, with more color AND more flexibility.
"Before I Gaze At You Again" -- [email protected] at Northwestern University's Career Week -- this musical theater singer's voice changes dramatically as she releases tension in her neck and shoulders.
"Caro nome" -- [email protected] at Northwestern University's Career Week -- this clip is also known as the "Holy Crap" video, so named because an audience member exclaims those words as the singer's voice becomes deeper, more resonant, and more facile with increased core support and release of what Ruth calls "Front Corridor Tension."
"Never Never Land" -- From Ruth's ongoing master class in Manhattan, veteran Broadway start Anne Runolfsson finds new color and ease through intramural jaw release.
"Smanie Implacabili" -- An emerging professional in Ruth's ongoing master class in Manhattan, Ellen Broen, finds a stronger, more responsive sound by engaging low breath support more effectively.
Ruth's students in live performance
James Ryan, heldentenor; Das Lied von der Erde (Mahler); Chamber Orchestra of Boston; David Feltner, conductor
RESULTS FOR CONDUCTORS AND INSTRUMENTALISTS:
Marimba -- [email protected] at VanderCook College of Music (Chicago) -- see the surprise on the percussionist's face when the sound of the marimba itself becomes richer and stronger, as Ruth helps him replace the excess tension in his shoulders and arms with core support.